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Books: a literary discussion

posted by Rather Dashing on - last edited - Viewed by 3.6K users

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So I've been eying and lusting after a nook and its fancy new 1.3 firmware even though I know I can't afford one. And all that looking at something meant to read books made me think about...BOOKS.

Let's talk about books. Anybody read anything recent that was really good? Have an obscure old favorite?

Where do you read books? When do you read them? What books do you read? How do you read books?

Etc and so forth.

If it involves books, say it. I'd like some good recommendations on recently published books and currently running ongoing series, too.

My favorite book of all time is Dumas's "Count of Monte Cristo"(or at least the unabridged English translation), though I of course love the geek standbys as well(Hitchhiker's Guide, Neuromancer, Slaughterhouse-Five, Snow Crash, et all). I also have Star Wars books as somewhat of a guilty pleasure.

Also, this isn't the thread about pictures of boobs. There shouldn't be pictures of boobs in this thread.

...unless it's a picture of a book that just HAPPENS to contain boobs. Because then it's absolutely on-topic and worthy of discussion.

...

SO.

BOOKS.

268 Comments - Linear Discussion: Classic Style
  • Since last I posted I have managed to get through a few books.

    I have gotten through both of the Guild Wars books, they where equally as good and they did well what they was supposed to do, keep you up to speed.

    Finished The Desert Spear if you haven't read it I think you should, but start with the first book The Painted Man.

    The Colour of Magic and The Light Fantastic.

    Artemis Fowl: The Last Guardian

    Gone through Skullduggery Pleasant: Dark Days, Mortal Coil and Death Bringer.
    Now I am reading the latest book in the series Kingdom of the Wicked.

  • I used to follow the Skullduggery Pleasant series, but I started not being able to find them anymore and I thought the author just stopped writing them. I remember that fateful day when I was browsing for books and just HAD to get the book with the skeleton throwing a fireball on the cover. I mean, why WOULDN'T I get a book with a cover like that?

    Well, looks like I'll need to take a trip to the bookstore now.

  • @Chyron8472 said: Ah. Well, I have a Kindle, which uses Mobipocket instead of ePub.


    I've got a Kindle as well (since about a week or two), but I must admit I don't really use TOCs, I tend to read books from start to finish, whatever the subject. There are e-books with linked TOCs on Gutenberg though, but most of the older files are text-only.

    Oh, and I'm currently reading Tolstoy's The Kingdom of God Is Within You in e-book form, and Dumas' The Three Musketeers on paper. I just love the 19th century. :p

  • Yeah, to be honest, I don't remember ever using a table of contents in a book, electronic or otherwise. A fiction book, I mean, I do for textbooks or non-fiction, but only because I don't read the whole thing.

    I can see how a TOC would be helpful though if you're looking for a specific part of the book. This being said, it doesn't seem much harder to check the page and enter it manually than clicking a link, so if there is a TOC at all I'm not sure why it matters if it's clickable.

  • It's not so much that I frequently use Tables of Contents, though I do frequently use chapter-skipping keys [especially when I'm reading a book on multiple devices that didn't sync to my last page read, or if my wife and I are reading the same book on each other's device and are in different places (which is why we don't sync locations across devices, as we both use the same Amazon account to buy ebooks)].

    It's more about that the device does have the ability to make use of a linkable TOC and chapter skipping, so the book should have those features implemented properly. If the book doesn't have that, I feel compelled to fix it mainly on principle.


    Also, given that I have the ability to (with Calibre), I like to make all my (fiction) ebooks to be formatted the same way: a single blank line between each paragraph; an indent on the first line of each paragraph; said indent to be the same; each chapter to start on a new page; and have a good looking cover page.

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  • I just checked, a number of books on Amazon's list of free classics do have a linked TOC, although a number of them don't, that's true.

    Hey, if you're changing them manually anyway, maybe it's an idea to contribute to Project Gutenberg by uploading your fixed versions. :)

  • I guess we all have our preferred formatting :) For instance, unlike you, I absolutely hate blank lines between regular paragraphs, only between... "chapter parts" I guess. You know, when there is actually a blank line in a printed book.

    I also like a very small font (usually the smallest available) and no margin on any sides of the page. I like the same indentation you do, though, and definitely a new page for a new chapter, except in some cases such as Bernard Werber's books (his chapters can be a sentence or paragraph long, and there are hundreds per book. It wouldn't work well).
    Oh, and I prefer the chapter number and title to be on a single line (unless too long for that).

  • There are ebooks I've bought which had a space and no indent, others that had a wide indent and no space, and still others that had a narrow indent. It got me picky because I started being all "I like this book's formatting better than that one" so I got into fixing them all uniformly how I like it.

  • As I’ve dictated, I’ve written a bunch of books, and for me, it’s more of a hobby than a planned career. I’ve also written a few screenplays, mostly based on books and one book I wrote. I’m a big western and horror buff, so most of my stories are just those. I’ve written a collection of detective fiction called Pulp, a vampire story placed during Black Death-era Europe, a pirate story, a western set in Gold Rush-era Alaska, a horror story about a group of runaways who are stalked by a young female vampire, a western centered around a Confederate runaway fleeing from a bounty hunter, a horror story based around Little Red Riding Hood, a screenplay for a psychological horror movie, and a mystery/horror story revolving around the aftermath of The Legend of Sleepy Hollow.

  • @Alcoremortis said: I used to follow the Skullduggery Pleasant series, but I started not being able to find them anymore and I thought the author just stopped writing them. I remember that fateful day when I was browsing for books and just HAD to get the book with the skeleton throwing a fireball on the cover. I mean, why WOULDN'T I get a book with a cover like that?

    Well, looks like I'll need to take a trip to the bookstore now.

    His up to 7 books, 1 novelette and 1 novella so far, and still going strong.

    I love the series, haven't been able to put a book down once I get it up. :)

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